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21. The Watchtower's Coming Crisis
22. Answers to My Jehovah's Witness
23. Apocalypse Delayed: The Story
24. The Spanking Room: A Child's Eye
25. The Catholic Answer to the Jehovah's
26. Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses:
27. I Was Raised a Jehovah's Witness
28. Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave:
29. Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's
30. Jehovah's Witnesses Defended:
31. Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait
32. Jehovah's Witnesses' New Testament:
33. The Four Major Cults: Christian
34. The Orwellian World of Jehovah's
35. Persecution and Resistance of
36. The Gap in the Jehovah's Witness
37. 1996 Yearbook of the Jehovah's
38. Refuting Jehovah's Witnesses
39. Jehovah's Witness Finds the Truth
40. Dictionary of J.W.ese - the unique

21. The Watchtower's Coming Crisis
by Daniel Rodriguez
Paperback: 62 Pages (2009-05-20)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$5.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0758907419
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A devastating crisis has the Jehovah's Witness religion facing extinction.

Chances are that you have never met a real Jehovah s Witness. While those at your door may claim to be one of Jehovah s Witnesses, their own publications plainly teach otherwise. So, who are the real Jehovah s Witnesses?

The Watchtower Society teaches that they are members of the 144,000 who will be the only ones going to heaven. Membership in this group began with the early apostles. Over the centuries others have been added but the Watchtower declared that the number was completed in 1935. Anyone who claims to be one of Jehovah s Witnesses has to be one of the 144,000 and must be very old now. However, the Watchtower Society teaches that these are the only ones who hear from God and are responsible for Watchtower teaching and leadership.

Because these people are dying, the Watchtower is facing a credibility crisis. So, the Watchtower is quietly manipulating these death figures to keep the Watchtower organization alive! And now, just last year, Watchtower literature quietly began to try to wiggle out of the 1935 closing date for the 144,000. But this only adds further opportunity for you to show the JW who comes to your door that he cannot trust the Watchtower with his precious eternal life.

The Watchtower representative at your door believes he will remain on Paradise Earth after the coming Armageddon, since only the original 144,000 have any hope of going to heaven. In fact, they are the only ones allowed to take communion. He does not believe he can understand Bible truths without the Watchtower. He is dependent on a publication that, one day soon, will be left without writers to reveal God s truths. Who are those writers? Those who remain of the original 144,000 and they are dying!

Oddly enough, their founder, Charles Taze Russell, never taught the doctrine of the 144,000. In this book, you will learn the true history of this false Watchtower doctrine. You will be surprised to discover that this doctrine is not just a Bible issue. It is also a historical issue and a numbers game that the Watchtower Society has had to manipulate throughout the years to keep that organization alive!

With the information and witnessing strategies in this book, you will be able to plant seeds of doubt and undermine the authority of the Watchtower. The Watchtower knows it is essential that this cornerstone doctrine remain alive if it is going to continue to exist as the spiritual leader for its followers. Time is the enemy of this teaching and they know it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars What is the "Coming Crisis" based on?
The book is full of out-of-context and inaccurate information. It actually states that people who come to your door who claim to be Jehovah's Witnesses really are not. Why? Because they hope to live on a paradise earth.
The author says that the only real Jehovah's Witnesses are not those who have an earthly hope, but those who claim to have a heavenly one.
The so-called "coming crises" is based on this notion and he does the math to prove it!
Well, in math, if the formula is wrong to start out with, no matter how accurate your math is, it will still come out with the wrong answer.
If you want the wrong answer, buy the book. If you want the right answer, go directly to the souce. And the source just might come knocking at your door.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye opening revelation about Jehovah's Witnesses
Just got the book today, and couldnt put it down. It is only 62 pages long, so you can read through it very quickly. It is published by Chick publications. What i love about Chick Publications, is they pick a topic and give you the nuts and bolts, not the sugar coated fluff that make books bigger than what they need to be. This is the 2nd Daniel Rodriguez book i have. His writing style is just like my reading style, here it is, this is what you need to know. This book deals with a topic that most books on jehovahs witnesses dont deal with. if the 144,000 are the heart and soul of the watchtower, and they were sealed in 1935, what happens to the orginization after these people die? over the last year i have read 5 books on jehovahs witnesses and 2 books on the cults of the world. what got me interested in the jehovahs witnesses was all the bad things i heard about them. they were painted like monsters in my mind from all the stories i had heard in my life. i met alot of them and they seemed really nice. i started reading the bible and wanted to know the TRUTH. i started going to over 20 churches in a course of a year, to see what church had it right. i really have learned alot over the last 2 years, and it is because of books like this one. they tell it like it is. and that is what i found out about jehovahs witnesses, they are real people like you and i, but are not aloud to read any other literature than the watchtower literature. how sad when the truth is out there and you cant read and find it. the last thing about this book is it tells you how to witness to the jehovahs witnesses. and you dont have to use bible verses, because they are trained to argue until the sun goes down with bible verses. daniel rodriguez has a great book on his hands. ... Read more

22. Answers to My Jehovah's Witness Friends
by Thomas Heinze
Paperback: 128 Pages (1999-01-01)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0937958581
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Answers you need to witness effectively to Jehovah's Witnesses

When Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door, have you ever wished you could get them off their memorized scripts and show them what the Bible really teaches?
Have you ever wished you had the information necessary to lovingly show them why their religion is wrong?

Now you can!

Using many quotes from Watchtower leaders, this small book exposes the errors of this false religion, presenting thought-provoking questions Jehovah's Witnesses can't answer. Don't turn them away from your door saying, I'm not interested. Learn the questions that will make them think, so you can effectively share the true gospel with them.

Also available in Spanish. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT ITEM & GREAT SERVICE
This was purchased as a gift and he has really enjoyed this item.Service was great. ... Read more

23. Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses
by M. James Penton
 Hardcover: 400 Pages (1985-01)
list price: US$24.95
Isbn: 0802025404
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Since 1876, Jehovah's Witnesses have believed that they are living in the last days of the present world. Charles T. Russell, their founder, advised his followers that members of Christ's church would be raptured in 1878, and by 1914 Christ would destroy the nations and establish his kingdom on earth. The first prophecy was not fulfilled, but the outbreak of the First World War lent some credibility to the second. Ever since that time, Jehovah's Witnesses have been predicting that the world would end 'shortly.' Their numbers have grown to many millions in over two hundred countries. They distribute a billion pieces of literature annually, and continue to anticipate the end of the world.

Apocalypticism is the key issue in this detailed history, but there are others. As a long-time member of the sect, now expelled, Penton offers a comprehensive overview of a remarkable religious movement. His book is divided into three parts, each presenting the Witnesses' story in a different context: historical, doctrinal, and sociological. Some of the issues he discusses are known to the general public, such as the sect's opposition to military service and blood transfusions. Others involve internal controversies, including political control of the organization and the handling of dissent within the ranks.

Penton has combined the special insight of an insider with the critical analysis of an observer now at a distance from his subject. From them he has created a penetrating study of a spreading world phenomenon.

In this second edition, an afterword by the author brings us up to date on events since Apocalypse Delayed was first published in 1985. Penton considers changes in doctrine, practice, and governance on issues such as medical treatment, higher education, apostates, and the apocalypse. This edition features a revised and expanded bibliography. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the very best books on Jehovah's Witnesses
I had been looking for a history of the Jehovah's Witnesses movement for some time.
At first, I thought it was a good idea to read the society's own "Proclaimers of God's Kingdom" and "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose", but I soon realized that many facts presented in this books contradicted other statements previously published on Watchtower literature.
I wanted a book that I could trust as impartial and objective.
I believe that a historian's job is not to sweet-talk the readers in order to persuade them of the value of a doctrine, but rather to impartially present facts that are proven by research.
This is exactly what Mr. Penton has done in this well documented, easy to read book.
Too often I have read books written by hateful former members that try to disregard the Watchtower Society.
Instead, this book is critical but never judgemental, and the author's unique position (a former forth generation member) makes this study particularly interesting.
The first part deals with the history of the movement. I think this chapter is what really makes this book special, as it is the most detailed study that I have ever read on the subject.
Part 2 (Concepts and Doctrines) and Part 3 (Organization and Community) are clear and fascinating but somewhat more standard, and if you have been interested in Jehovah's Witnesses for same time you will probably already know most of what is outlined here.
Overall, an excellent work, one that everyone interested in the Watchtower history and beliefs should read.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Apostle Peter would have something to say to the author of this book
The words of 2 Peter 3:4-16 are of value for writers such as this and for this who choose to listen to this type of anti-Christian propaganda, there were mockers and scoffers when the flood of Noah's day came, and there are today in these last days as well. The Bible says, "Faith is not a possession of all people."

The Apostle Peter said, "For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: "Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation's beginning."

For, according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice, that there were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God;and by those [means] the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water. [The Flood of Noah's day when God destroyed the wicked.]

But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men...

He is patient with YOU because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. Yet Jehovah's day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought YOU to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion,awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which [the] heavens being on fire will be dissolved and [the] elements being intensely hot will melt!

But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

Hence, beloved ones, since YOU are awaiting these things, do YOUR utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote YOU, speaking about these things as he does also in all [his] letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom (JVE)

1-0 out of 5 stars Apostate Jehovah's Witness writes biased and outdated book
James Penton's book starts with a bias, that of, apparently, being dsisparaging of Jehovah's Witnesses, and it would seem, by extension, organized religion. Mr. Penton is a disfellowshipped Jehovah's Witness and is a chronic faultfinder. He might be compared to a Judas Iscariot with a college degree. His book starts out with a bias, and continues with an apostate bias.

An apostate is not a good place to go for accurate information, and this is the case with Mr. Penton's book. In an effort to justify his own defection from the religion, he talks about every fault he can imagine, exagerating, and taking things out of context. One might think of in relationship to Jehovah's Witnesses in his works. He is critical and has a haughty, proud spirit. The criticims he makes against Jehovah's Witnesses, might just as well be leveled against the Bible, and in some cases, Jesus himself. This type of book, religiously, is akin to Richard Dawkins attack on God's existence.

See Wikipedia site: Apostate

This quote from Bryan R. Wilson, Professor Emeritus at Oxford University,"a scholar of indubitable integrity", which James Penton is not,

"The apostate's story, in which he is usually presented as a victim, is seen as good news-copy for the media, particularly if he offers to `reveal' aspects, and perhaps secrets, of the movement to which he formerly belonged. In consequence, apostates receive perhaps an unwarranted amount of media attention, particularly when they are able to present their previous allegiance in terms both of their own vulnerability and the manipulation, deception, or coercion exercised by the leaders and members of the movement into which they were recruited. Because these accounts are often the only information normally available to the general public about minority religions, and certainly the most widely disseminated information, the apostate becomes a central figure in the formation (or misformation) of opinion in the public domain concerning these movements."

"Academic scholars interested in religious minorities, and in particular sociologists, in whose field this subject matter particularly lies, normally pursue their scholarly enquiries by a variety of well-recognized methods. They gather their data not only by archival research and the study of printed matter and documents, but also by participant observation, interviews, questionnaire surveys and, directly to the point at issue here, from informants.

Thus, the apostate presents himself as `a brand plucked from the burning,' as having been not responsible for his actions when he was inducted into his former religion, and as having `come to his senses' when he left. Essentially, his message is that `given the situation, it could have happened to anyone.' They are entirely responsible and they act with malice aforethought against unsuspecting, innocent victims. By such a representation of the case, the apostate relocates responsibility for his earlier actions, and seeks to reintegrate with the wider society which he now seeks to influence, and perhaps to mobilize, against the religious group which he has lately abandoned."

5-0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse Delayed By Penton
It is my opinion that this book is a thorough review of the history and ramifications of the Watchtower Society.

Penton is fair in his appraisal.He is objective.Having been associated with this organization for a half century I have witnessed many of the trends he describes.

I consider his overall coverage of this subject to be informative, accurate and just.

This is an excellent source for any who have unanswered questions about the Watchtower Society.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Enlightening!!!!!!!!!
This book sure answered many questions I had.James Penton is fair
and scholarly in his an analysis.He shows how the Witnesses elites have
deviated and flip-flopped on a number of their doctrines.He also shows
hoe dictatorial and unchangeable this organizatiion is.He also gives a
thorough nuts and bolts description of the overall running and structure
of this organization.He also gives an unbiased history of the Witness
organization.He dopes this despite the fact he was disfellowshipped
from it.He also spent time at their world headquarters and he wrote
"The Jehovah's Witnesses of Canada!"He is a first rate scholar is my
impression after reading this book.He thoroughly answered any questions
I had about Jehovah's Witnesses!This book should be read by anyone who
is thinking of joining the Watchtower! ... Read more

24. The Spanking Room: A Child's Eye View of the Jehovah Witnesses
by William Coburn
Paperback: 208 Pages (2008-07-25)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$12.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1579219659
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

I had stopped vomiting, but still shook and sobbed. Mom returned to the room to sit on the edge of my bed. Again she asked, "Billy what's wrong?""That was my bus route," I whispered when I could get words out. "What if someone I knew came to the door?""So?" "They'd find out I was a Jehovah's Witness."Mom's hand met the side of my head in a flash of brilliant white light and an explosion of pain. I collapsed onto the mattress while she flailed at me, her rage-clenched fists thudding into my eight-year-old body. "How dare you?" she shrieked. "You awful, rotten child! How dare you be ashamed of Jehovah? I hate you! I hate you!"

The Spanking Room is the true story of a young boy's upbringing, and how the unorthodox doctrines of the Watchtower Society encourage violence against its most helpless members--the children.

Whether you are looking for specific answers or an overall understanding of Jehovah's Witness beliefs and practices, The Spanking Room delivers in a straightforward, compelling manner.

Journey with little Billy Coburn as he grows up in the Watchtower Society, learn what Jehovah's Witnesses believe about God, and experience the inner workings of the Kingdom Hall through a child's-eye view. If you or someone you love is a Jehovah's Witness, this book is for you.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars Love Mom, Question Her Faith, Be Embarrassed by Mom, and Fear Her Religious Discipline
The Spanking Room (as the title suggests) is one part child-abuse tale, one part description of Jehovah's Witnesses from a terrorized child's perspective, and one part autobiography outlining the worst parts of a troubled childhood. From this book you'll learn a lot more about how much it hurts a child to be abused by a mother than about the Jehovah's Witnesses. The book does not intend to be a theological look at the Jehovah's Witnesses, but the author does include some perspectives on how the group's views and authority differ from Bible-based Christian beliefs and authority.

A spanking room is reported by this book to be part of every Kingdom Hall (often doubling as the women's rest room). Apparently, Jehovah's Witnesses take their children to services (which are long), and any misbehavior can be addressed by a pretty firm spanking (bare flesh with tools stronger than a hand) that leaves serious bruises. The author also reports being hauled to the room by his hair. At home, a good whack was often received as well.

Although there's a lot of physical pain described in this book, the psychological pain of the author is greater. It's tough to be a kid of a JW . . . and you feel excluded from the peer group at school.

Life was made more difficult by his father not being a Jehovah's Witness (and opposed to the religion) while his mom was quite fervent. This led to many family conflicts that didn't make life any easier for the author.

I feel sorry for the author. I hope that writing this book was therapy for him.

The most useful thing I found in the book was the information that you can ask the Jehovah's Witnesses who visit your house to take you off their list and they will stop knocking on your door. Most of the revelations about the church are ones I've known for a long time.

Unless you don't know anything at all about Jehovah's Witnesses and want to learn about how a child can be traumatized by a believer of this faith, I suggest you skip the book.

I often hold nice conversations with Jehovah's Witnesses, Bible in hand quoting Scripture, and they go away smiling. I'll have to ask them about the spanking rooms the next time they stop by.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Dyspeptic Screed
I agreed to read and review The Spanking Room because I thought that by doing so I might learn something useful about the Jehovah's Witnesses of whom I know little. Instead of useful information, I got a two hundred page jeremiad that blamed the Jehovah's Witnesses for nearly every negative aspect of the author's upbringing. I'm sorry he can't let it go, but there are many people of that faith who live happy and productive lives seemingly unscathed by the dire practices alleged in the book.
To me, the book was hard to read. The style is juvenile and whiny and often borders on the asinine. I expected a "child's-eye" view of life as a Witness, not a childish one. If you need an example, the author repeatedly returns to and magnifies the incident in which he was putatively punished for bidding "Mr Microphone" goodbye during a church meeting.
Some readers obviously enjoyed it, but for me it was a waste of time. Read it and decide who's right.

3-0 out of 5 stars Oh, memoirs, memoirs, why do you haunt me?
William Coburn, The Spanking Room (WinePress, 2008)

As much as I keep beating my dead horse about how much I hate memoirs, I always seem to end up getting roped into reading them somehow. This is my latest solicited review book (well, the latest I've actually finished; a collective apology to the rest of you lot for being so far behind...), and while I did realize it was a memoir going in, I couldn't resist the idea of a Jehovah's Witness expose. On the other hand, I seem to have missed the part where the author mentioned the book was from WinePress (for those of you unfamiliar, think of WinePress as a Christian version of AuthorHouse, competing head to head with Xulon, the Lulu of Christianity). But I dove in anyway, despite the book having two strikes against it before I even cracked the cover already. And I have to say, I'm starting to revise my opinion of memoirs; despite the fact that I've still found the majority of them I've read loathsome (assuming they're even partially true, as we have found out over the last few years how few of them actually are), some of them are getting slotted into the category of "guilty pleasure". The Spanking Room fits quite nicely into that niche--I enjoyed it (if "enjoyed" is the proper word for a catalog of abuse such as this), but I felt vaguely dirty doing so.

Before actually getting into the book, I do have to comment on what, for me, was one of the books' most amusing parts, the hypocrisy inherent in criticizing parts of religion A that are also parts of religion B (to which you subscribe). I can certainly understand the sentiment; after what Coburn went through, I can't imagine not seeing every last aspect of the Jehovah's Witnesses as inherently evil. But that tends to lead to a blind eye when, say, criticizing the proselytizing aspect of being a Witness while ignoring the proselytizing aspect of born-again Christianity. (And yes, Coburn is a born-again Christian; this should be obvious from the press and the general tone, but he explicitly states it in the final chapter.)

Once you're past this, however, the book definitely does have its guilty-pleasure aspects. Coburn sees himself as something of a black humorist. The book does have its funny parts--though it's more a humor of the snorting rather than the belly-laughing variety--but what really makes it shine is Coburn's gift for observation. This does bring up questions about veracity; how much is an adult going to remember about his preteen years, especially in such detail?--but there's solid grounding for the overall shape of the thing, as Coburn points out a few times (he suggests checking out the Jehovah's Witness website and reading some of the books and pamphlets to be found there. Illuminating stuff indeed).

There are also certain aspects of this book that only a Biblical scholar, at least of the casual variety, could have shed light on, and as most of those who know the Bible well are Christians, there is value in reading a Christian's account of the inside affairs of the Witnesses. Coburn points out a number of differences between the New World Translation (used by the Witnesses) of the Bible and other translations, and shows how sometimes translating one word differently can lead to entirely different conclusions being drawn from those passages. While those of us who endlessly debate religion are well aware of how this defines much of the difference between various flavors of Judeo-Christianity, less religiously aware folks will probably find these sections of the book quite enlightening.

I'm giving the book three stars and a conditional recommendation. There are obviously folks who will find what Coburn has to say unbelievable, offensive, or some combination of the two. Hopefully the review above will give you some insight into whether you're one of those people, and if you are, you would do well to avoid it. However, if you're a fan of memoirs in general, or just like seeing a religion get a good hiding from someone who was once involved with it, then you should definitely consider giving this one a go. ***

4-0 out of 5 stars An Overzealous Mom Empowered to "Spank" by Her Knew Faith
William Coburn, a Christian and martial artist (a fact I throw in that is completely irrelevant), writes an interesting memoir about growing up with a mom who converts to the Jehovah's Witnesses and zealously adopts their practices and lifestyle.He discusses the turmoil it immediately had on his immediate family as well as the doctrines this denomination advocates and teaches.

It does not take long for the book to connect its title to its narrative.On page 19, when mothers and leaders are discussing creating a spanking room by the women's bathroom, Coburn relates the conversations these mothers had.One is frustrated because spanking "bare bottom" does not work on her child (so another mother suggest getting a brother - code for a male Jehovah's Witness- to spank her child).

He talks about the peer pressure to be a "better Jehovah's Witness" within the group.The dynamics in the family are interesting, particularly since mom is the only really "voluntary" Jehovah's Witness.I think, however, that this dynamic would certainly be interesting no matter the religion or lack thereof, with or without a "spanking room." This may be a little more strained in Jehovah's Witness' home because of holiday celebrations (which he spends a considerable amount of time on) because Witnesses adamantly oppose holidays including birthday celebrations.

He also discusses "Watchtower" theology and the out-workings of this theology.Yet, I do think he at times makes the inductive fallacy.He talks about as a Witness that he was taught not to enjoy life; however, I have known some Witnesses very well and they seemed to enjoy life.Now, I was an outsider, yet, they did not appear to me to be longed face, suffering stoics.He does provide an insider view on the many "predictions" and "anticipations" of Armageddon.The book then picks up some steam when others do not.This is toward the end of the book, and many non-fiction works have a tendency to slow down a bit towards the end.Coburn's book does not and this carries the reader to the end.

I am not sure how much of the family problems and dynamics are caused by the Witnesses or his mother's instability.I suspect she would have had these problems if she was an atheists and his dad was a practicing Christian.Her vision and purpose seems to have provided her ammunition to strain the relationships in the family; however, I do agree that a denomination that develops a "spanking room" does not help matters.

4-0 out of 5 stars Memoir of one horrific Jehovah's Witness childhood
The unwelcome arrival of Jehovah's Witnesses at the door is both a staple of American experience and a puzzle. Just who are these well-dressed, seemingly happy people we love to hate -- and what do they believe? Are we justified in shunning them and dreading their footfalls on our doorsteps?

William Coburn's book sheds some light on the inner life of one JW family and one congregation. Coburn grew up in what he describes as a normal family until his mother converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses when he was four. For the next decade and more, his mother ran hours-long study sessions, scoured the neighborhood for converts, and brutalized Coburn and his brother for the smallest infractions, hoping to beat the devil out of him. Coburn implies that these beatings, spankings, punchings and full face slaps were "de rigueur" for Witness families. Certainly, they were a staple of his. And at the very least, more than a few children were dragged, sometimes by their hair, to a special room in the Kingdom Hall reserved for corporal punishment.

All in all, a miserable way to grow up.

The book falls a little flat, though, in discussing Coburn's experience within the wider context of the Jehovah's Witnesses in America. The Witnesses that Coburn describes are certainly patriarchal, controlling, rigid and more than a little strange. Some JW beliefs are fairly odd as well, including a literal belief in the book of Revelation's statement that only 144,000 souls attain Heaven (sorry, all slots were filled by 1935) and that the imminent end of the age will allow only JWs to live forever on in a "New System" on "paradise earth," Jehovah-God having killed all non-believers. But I questioned how typical was Coburn's experience. Guilt-crazed, fanatical parents are found in every religion.

"The Spanking Room" is Coburn's attempt to deal with the shame, guilt and weirdness placed on him by a mother who dealt with her own demons by clinging a rigid and unforgiving doctrine. It's an interesting read as a testament of how one life can be drastically affected by religious extremism. JW's impact on families (especially those like Coburn's where one parent is a non-believer) can hardly be squared with the Christian tradition of life-long fidelity, peacefulness and forgiveness. If it can't be read as a survey of the entirety of Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs and practice, it does work well as a single instance of how being a JW can warp and shatter a family's peace and a child's sense of safety.

Disclaimer: this reviewer received the book gratis from the author. ... Read more

25. The Catholic Answer to the Jehovah's Witnesses: A Challenge Accepted
by Louise D'Angelo
Paperback: 177 Pages (1994-06)
list price: US$13.50
Isbn: 187888610X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Example of Comparative Religion
This is an excellent book. This is maybe one of a few books written by a Catholic author on this subject.
Hopefully, there will be one written by a former J.W. who is now a Catholic, that would be quite a read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Alot of judgemental language used.
I bought this book to educate myself, a catholic, about my friend's religion, jehevah's wittness.I was unable to finish the book, as it seemed to be an attack on the people of the faith instead useful factual information that can be used when talking with them.I find it hard to believe a "christian" wrote this book.The author lacks humility and tolerence when speaking of another faith.

5-0 out of 5 stars Former member of Jehovah's Witnesses re-enters the Catholic Chruch
This book is designed for Catholics who are thinking about leaving the Church to become Jehovah's Witnesses. The author does a good job in describing some of the beliefs and practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but primarily this book is not a in-depth examination of Jehovah's Witnesses theology. Other books such as Jason Evert's, "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses" isbn 1888992212 does a better job at that.
The key benefit of this book is its focus on what a Catholic gives up to become a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The author clearly describes what the life of a Jehovah's Witnesses is truly like and the impact that this will have on a persons spirituality and family relations. The main point of the author is that a person really gains nothing in leaving the Catholic Church to become a Jehovah's Witness.
Although the Witnesses think that their religion is "better" that any other, they are looking at the matter from a very distorted viewpoint. I speak from personal experience. I left the Catholic Church and joined the Jehovah's Witnesses at the age of 16 and served as a pioneer (full-time preacher), ministerial servant (deacon) and elder for many years. I was not disfellowshipped by the Jehovah's Witnesses but through my own personal study of their history and doctrinal changes, I came to realize that the leaders of the Watchtower are not the 'faithful and discreet slave' (Matthew 24:45) as they claim to be. I resigned in 1997 (at the age of 41) and began an intense study of all major religions and their histories. During this time I associated with many evangelical churches and enjoyed fellowship with many fine Christians. I read and studied continuously andeventually, in 2004 I re-entered the Catholic Church.
In retrospect, I realize that the fundamental reason that I left the Catholic Church in the first place is that I really never understood what the Catholic Church taught or believed. We were not strong Catholics, (I was never even taught how to pray the rosary) I did not go to Catholic schools and never really learned the catechism. When my father converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses, I was easy prey for their ideas. After returning to the faith, I found many excellent books that were written and published at the time that I converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses, that if I had known about them, would have cleared up many problems that I had with Catholic doctrine.
In conclusion, I would say this to any Catholic who is thinking about leaving the Church to join the Jehovah's Witnesses: Please read this book! The author does not in any way misrepresent the beliefs or practices or culture of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Learn about your own faith! Don't think that by joining the Jehovah's Witnesses you are going to solve your problems. The Catholic Church is not perfect, but neither are the Jehovah's Witnesses. Also I would recommend Karl Keating's book, "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" isbn 0898701775. In addition, there is a series of 8 books entitled "Beginning Apologetics" that are excellent. They are relatively inexpensive (about $5.00) each. They clear up any doubts about the Catholic doctrines of the Trinity, The Eucharist, Mary and many others. The first book is the series is entitled, "Beginning Apologetics: How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith" isbn 1930084005.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great tool in discussion with the JW's
Considering that this book is from 1981, I doubt that many of the points in this book still do apply. The Jehovah's Witnesses come by my house on the weekends. I think they have been here, for me to respond to them that is, about 5-6 times now. I am not quite sure if reading this book helped me to respond to the Witnesses' claims, but I learned a lot of basic information from it. For one, they believe that Jesus is the Archangel Michael. They deny the Trinity; hence they cease to be "Christian" since a basic tenet of Christianity is the Trinity. They believe that only 144,000 people will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and the rest, all official JW's, will live forever on an Earthly paradise.

Personally, I have found that the best way to handle discussions with the "door to door evangelists" is to learn one's own faith first. Not just the basics, know the ins and outs of it. Once you get a familiar hang of Scripture and the Scripture that supports our beliefs, it makes it easier to respond to their contentions. Very often they take little snippets of the Bible and absolutize them into some dogma, like Jesus not being God, but only "a god". I had the most success with the Mormons than with the JW's since the JW's are trained scriptural acrobats that like to jump around scripture and twist it to their own interpretation.

The book also outlines the inconsistencies of the JW doctrine. They are best known for their failed attempts to predict the Parousia, the second coming of Christ. The mere notion that they could know when Christ will return (their first prediction was that the Parousia was to be in the year 1914) is contrary to the Holy Scriptures.

Matthew 24:36 ESV"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

4-0 out of 5 stars Notice the not-too-bright other reviews?
D'Angelo's book is a basically good one.It is not as up-to-date, or smoothly written, as Jason Evert's recent book, but it covers the necessary ground well enough.I read it years ago and wish I had not given my copy away to a friend!

About some of the other reviews here.Notice that one reviewer, writing in the year 2000, can't spell "Marian" properly, but feels completely free to attack Marian beliefs or practices?How valid do you think that criticism is if the reviewer can't even spell the word properly?Also, the most recent reviewer makes the silly claim elsehwere that 90% of Catholic beliefs are from pagan sources (he lists none).Really?So is Biblical inerrancy part of that 90%?How about the eternity of heaven?The reviewer also posted a quote from Cardinal Newman which says that many things used by Christians are of pagan origin.That is true.None of the things listed, however, were teachings or beliefs.They were merely things.I suppose the reviewer believs that people are too dumb to catch that obvious point, but he's wrong. ... Read more

26. Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses: Why They Read the Bible the Way They Do
by Robert M., Jr. Bowman
 Paperback: 165 Pages (1991-06)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$8.49
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Asin: 0801009952
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Alarm Bells Ringing
Most everyone in America has had some contact with the Jehovah's Witnesses. From their appearances at your door to their street corner distribution of The Watchtower and Awake!, they are an ubiquitous though oft ridiculed part of modern American religious culture. Most Christians just ignore their doorstep invitations to discuss the Bible and those who do are often bewildered by the strange amalgamation of passages used to support their unorthodox doctrines. The closed system of interpretation they have developed over a century can seem impenetrable to an outsider and well meaning attempts to explain orthodox Christianity to them falls on deaf ears as the two participants talk past each other.

Robert M. Bowman is well versed in the exegetical methods employed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (the authoritative arm of the Jehovah's Witnesses) and has published his insights in Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses. The book, primarily aimed as a tool for dialogue between Evangelical Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses, is a detailed critique of the Jehovah's Witnesses' use of Scripture backed up with extensive references. While vehemently disagreeing with the Watchtower organization's methodology, he does not resort to questioning the motives or sincerity of individuals in the organization. This is considerably different from many other critiques focusing on the alleged "cultic" elements of the Jehovah's Witnesses while paying scant attention to the underlying premises of their belief structure.

Bowman begins with two introductory chapters setting the basis for the examination in terms agreeable to both parties. While admirably irenic in tone, this section is by far the weakest in the book as its subjective nature shows an implicit (albeit unintended) Evangelical Protestant bias. For example, in a list of "ground rules", Bowman includes as hypotheses positions held only by a minority of the world's Christians - primarily Evangelical Protestants. In so doing he asserts a selection of pseudo-scientific criteria to examine Scripture without realizing his assumptions are steeped in the traditions of modernity and have little connection with how Scripture was read in the early Church. Fortunately, little of his pretense at an impartial exegetical methodology has any bearing on what follows.

It is when turning to his critique of the Jehovah's Witnesses exegetical techniques that Bowman finds his range. In successive chapters, he zeroes in on the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's self-definition as God's chosen arbiter of Scripture and in successive chapters points out in detail their changing doctrine and failed eschatological predictions, the intentional and self-serving mistranslation of Scripture in their New World Translation, how Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses) was formed theologically by the conflagration of novel doctrines and eschatological ferment from the Adventist movement he had joined with the rigidity of the extreme form of Calvinism he knew in his youth, and the hermeneutical blinders the Jehovah's Witnesses belief system requires in order to fit the words of Scripture into their theological prism. When he is through, he has exposed the Watchtower interpretations for what they are - a manmade system of beliefs with no validity in the context of the Apostolic Church.

Bowman then demonstrates the fallacious reasoning outlined earlier with two specific examples: their interpretation of Luke 23:43 and their doctrines concerning the divine name. The former is a clear indication of the convoluted grammatical leaps the Jehovah's Witnesses will go to in order to twist the Scripture to fit their doctrine. The latter poor reasoning behind their insistence on using the name "Jehovah" and their own inconsistency in its application. These twin examples illustrate the often "ad hoc" exegetical techniques used to attempt to get Scripture to conform to Watchtower edicts.

Bowman adds two helpful appendices. The first examines the Jehovah's Witnesses claims of scholarly approval for the New World Translation. In actuality, there is no notable scholar of Biblical Greek or Hebrew who has endorsed the New World translation. The Jehovah's Witnesses have instead relied on out of context quotations, innuendo, and outright forgeries to manufacture a reputation their translation could not attain on its own. The other appendix examines their claim that Jesus was crucified on an upright stake rather than a cross even though all archeological, historical, and Scriptural evidence points the other way. History as well as Scripture needs to be translated through their funhouse mirror of interpretation.

Despite some initial flaws, Bowman does a remarkable job in explaining the Jehovah's Witnesses worldview and in pointing out how it skews their view of Christ and his Church. After reading Understanding Jehovah's Witnesses, a discussion with a Jehovah's Witness will immediately set alarm bells ringing. Even if it only prevents the confusion such encounters can produce, it is a good effort. For any interested in defending the Christian faith against such errors, it is highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars Interestingly Ignorant
It may seem to odd to most of you readers/authors out there that you just can't convince one of those "jehovah joggers" that they're just plain wrong.The truth of the matter is that jehovahs witnesses know exactly what individuals of every religion on the face of this earth believe, and yet they believe what they do, quite simply because they can not convince themselves of the truth of other religions.The failure of other religions within "christianity" and outside christianity is what keeps JW's from accepting a different religion.While you may feel comfortable (2 tim 4:3,4) with your various religion, it doesn't mean that your religion is void of paganism/false beliefs/teachings of demons.Note that within 1 tim 4:1-4 specific verses that point to : (1)forbiding to marry(ex.catholic priests), (2)abstaining from foods god made(catholics "used to say that you couldn't eat certain foods on certain days.As the bible says these same teachings are wrong, yet these same "teachings" are spoken of as be neccessary to follow in order to attain favor with god!This is simply the needles tip of a iceberg!Remmember before you condem, beat, harass, murder JW'S or burn down one of their churchs, that they are jehovahs witnesses because they don't want to be part of a religion that teaches that which is steeped in paganism. They want their worship to god to be acceptable, not just comfortable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Getting to understand the JW mentality
One of the hardest things to do for a Christian attempting to share his/her faith with a JW is to understand from where the Witness comes. Bowman does an excellent job in this book giving the mindset of a Witness in a fair and even compassionate manner. He covers some hermeneutical issues, even spending an entire chapter on Luke 23:43 and analyzing it. This is probably not the only book a person should own--I might recommend Rhodes' "Reasoning from the Scriptures with a Jehovah's Witness"--but it's a good supplimentary volume that I believe the average layperson should be able to understand and even utilize.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understand "why?" not just "what."
You open a Bible and examine it with a Jehovah's Witness and you get nowhere! What do you do? A beginning point is to get your hands on Bowman's book.

Bowman explains some basic logical and interpretive principles and then digs into the differences between JW and Christian ways of looking at the same Bible passage. The JW's method of Bible interpretation is shown to be dictated by the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society.

Bowman examines the New World Translation of the JW's, their belief system, and their use of "Jehovah" as their name for God. He offers a sample, technical case study of interpreting Luke 23:43. The book closes with appendices on the New World Translation and a word study on "stake" vs "cross." Bowman also includes an excellent annotated bibliography.

Bowman's purpose is not to attack, but to help Jehovah's Witnesses find truth. Read his book and absorb his insights. ... Read more

27. I Was Raised a Jehovah's Witness
by Joe Hewitt
Paperback: 192 Pages (1997-03-06)
list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$5.99
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Asin: 0825428769
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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(Revised and updated) Hewitt's fascinating account of growing up in the Jehovah's Witness cult has been revised to reflect recent developments. More than 40,000 copies in print. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy this book through Sunrise Books and save
I bought from them but accidentally erased my review, I found out later you cant modify a review here. Well I believe a good service should be rewarded always, it is a weapon as a customer. Encourage instead of always complaining. Well I am still reading the book, it only had like three pages highlighted some paragraphs, I also bought 30 years a watchtower slave, by Schnell which has more details on the organization. I think both books give a broad picture of JW's and how a seek for truth can be turned into a money making lie machine. The Judge certianly lived very well after he became the Wathctower "leader".

4-0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness for the "TRUTH" about the truth
Wow, this book is very accurate, I must take exception with the reviewer whom said all JW books are free, they aren't the publisher/pioneer must pay for them. also of course they must all agree, as it is a cult, and if you don't agree on ANY point you will be thrown out and shunned. As a one time aux pioneer in the "truth" for 25 years I believe I am an expert in this regard.I really don't believe the WTBTS will survive the internet however as all their lies and re-engineered history is exposed, a good site for research is www.freeminds.org. oh and by the way I deprogrammed myself after taking some university psychology courses and was able to associate the earmarks of a cult with jehovah's witnesses, and their very effective brainwashing techniques IE: isolating their members and limiting their exposure to society provided printed materials. Also they discourage higher education soley because the more educated someone is the eaiser it is to see thru the programming and make decisions for oneself. in short we need more books like this to shed the light on the shady dealings of the watchtower bible and tract society.

1-0 out of 5 stars Are you truly Christians?
A lot of christian denominations exist yet a few have chosen to write hundreds of books condeming only Jehovah's Witnesses...do you notice that no Witness is hitting back? These so-called Christian authors may be motivated by the money you can make by selling "Christian" books. If they truly want to warn fellow saved/born-again Christians about this "cult", why don't they give out their books for FREE? How about poor "Christians", who will warn them? Why would a "Christian" author like one David A. Reed devote an entire lifetime writing several books against Jehovah's Witnesses? Why the hatred? Most Jehovah's Witnesses were at one time Catholics, Protestants, Methodists, Baptists, etc. yet not one of them is earning a living/making money by selling books condemning their ex-faith. The apostle Paul prosecuted Christians but when he saw the truth and he converted to Christianity not once does he ever prosecute the Jews!COINCIDENCE?

I hope you are an honest Christian. Reflect on this matter. Would Jesus be proud of you today because now you know how to answer back the JWs? Would he say "good job handling them Witnesses?". I bet Jesus would prefer that you spoke to others about your faith - Christianity - rather than devote a lot of time condemning others' faith.

A few Points about JWs

1. All their books are FREE including the Bible
2. If you think their Bible (New World Translation) is false, compare it for yourself using your own Bible....read your Bible's preface why they replaced Jehovah with LORD
3. They believe that A JW not providing for his family - materially and emotionally - is worse than an unbeliever!
4. JWs can support their believes from the Bible...can every single person in your church do thesame?
5. Next time you meet one, be humble, hear for yourself what they are trying to say, then decide for yourself whether its bad or good...No JW will ever FORCE you to go to their church (Kingdom Hall)
6. Do you agree with ALL your church's teachings? JWs do.
7. Are your Church's believes exactly thesame worldwide? JWs are.

Remember the Pharisees!

5-0 out of 5 stars MY WOUNDS ARE STILL HEALING.....





5-0 out of 5 stars My life *is* a million times better
now that I have left the "truth".

To the reader who thinks all who leave or are disfellowshipped from "God's organization", please explain to me why, after being disfellowshipped from God's loving people, I'm no longer suicidal, my alleged bi-polar and dissociative identity disorders have disappeared, and I'm happy, thriving and content.

I am no longer consumed with paralyzingly low self-esteem, I am gaining confidence, poise and grace.I smile now.I laugh. I don't spend every waking moment wondering if Jehovah will kill me at Armegeddon for some (egregious) transgression of Watchtower Society rules.

Coincidence?I think not. ... Read more

28. Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave: The Confessions of a Converted Jehovah's Witness
by W. J. Schnell
 Unknown Binding: 207 Pages (1958)

Asin: B003K2F26M
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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From the Forward: By the Lord's grace I am a Christian. I was found by God in my tender youth. Early in life I was inveigled to join the Watch Tower Organization, and subsequently became totally enslaved to it. As my spiritual life ebbed, I tried desperately to come free. Each attempt only resulted in deeper slavery. By the Lord's grace I came free when He lifted me up from a night of prayer, and when I became so agitated and alive once again spiritually that I made a vow unto the Lord. In writing this story of my thirty years of slavery I am fulfilling this vow.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Surprised more people did not give it one star!
Here's an excerpt found on page 176:

The present Watch Tower Society, from 1942 to 2942, so they hope, for a thousand years, a New World Society, a class Society ruled dictatorically by a cosortium of self-perpetruating Directors. In the building and erection of this huge edifice, or the Theocracy of 1938, the Watch Tower Society hopes by the practice of its religion of "buying out time out of individual lives for their purposes and making them report that time spent to them" and of selling books, booklets and magazines for them and bring in the contributions, to draw millions of the earth into slavery to it, cracking its Theocratic whip over their hapless backs, as generation cometh and generation goeth, for the next thousand years.

5-0 out of 5 stars a red flag for the brain.
the reason why i gladly gave this book 5 stars is because the author was an actual member (30yrs) and his inside information is sound.
this is an enjoyable read (pp. 214) for anyone that's interested in this CULT. (of course, the jws' insist on this term)
it would behoove anyone that has invited the jws' for a "bible study" via home or anyone that thinks that their pamphlets are convincing, to read this book. this simple volume will give your brain the flexibility to understand their belief system from within...
if it's not to late, as the author WARNS: "Before the uncanny victim realized it, he had surrendered all individualism, abandon all personal thinking" p. 23. please, do your brain a favor, read this book.

****there are many tactics that cult leaders use to manipulate the subconscious. the most effective of all is freezing your ability to think outside of the box...****

again, this is a nice read. (enjoy)

3-0 out of 5 stars A JW's view
I am one of Jehovah's Witness and have read through this book by Brother Schnell. Although I understand the Watchtower Society's advice to avoid such "Apostate" literature I also am aware of my own ability to examine with open-mindedness the for's and against in any given subject. Indeed had I not had an open mind I would never have become one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
My experience is that no-matter what Organisation emerges on the world scene be-it Political, Commercial or religious its inner workings become mechanical and mundane. This is a necessity otherwise no progress would be made.
My studies of the "Men" at the top whom have organised and propelled the Watchtower Organisation from its infancy to now has shown me that there motives have been pure and honourable, forged by a desire to help others come to know God and exalt both Jehovah and Christ Jesus. However it is plain for all to see that no matter what level an individual reaches with-in this organisation (or any other) human thinking is fallible, mistakes and often very serious ones are made.
In brothers Schnell's synopsis of his experiences with the Watchtower organisation sadly what comes through is not a thorough citing of scripture to back-up his premises or indeed any balance in his assessments of the Watchtower motives, but rather what comes through is an underlying hatred. This is very sad from a man who claims to be a Christian. Far from lovingly explaining errors made, the brother simply turns the beliefs and actions of the Witnesses into some kind of business-like enterprise with one goal of making money. He highlights regularly the book selling aspect.
Now in the year 2007, the watchtower in many lands distributes literature with-out direct charge relying on voluntary donations to support the preaching work hence the charge of money making from book selling no longer holds any value.
Brother Schnell also harps on about the Watchtower claiming to be the mouth-piece of God that no other organisation on earth is supported by God and everything outside the WTS is from the Devil. Although the statement sounds far-fetched I would remind anyone who is part of an Organised Religion that surely they believe they are part of the correct belief system. That is if you are a Christian, Muslin, Hindu, etc...what-ever sect of that Religion you belong to you MUST surely hold that they (your teachers and teachings) are correct - that is from God? Hence the Watchtower does nothing out of the ordinary in making this claim as most other Religions do the same albeit in a more subtle way.
Some of Brother Schnell's interpretation of scripture is also as much a flip-flopping of ideas as he claims the Watchtower entertains. I find that in reading his book the true underlying essence is rotten and hurtful. I wish I could say otherwise.
That being said, if you are one of Jehovah's Witnesses and very active, you will appreciate that the mechanics of what Brother Schnell talks about with-in the Organisation can be all consuming. It is true that the rank and file witness can become simply a number in an equation. However that is inevitable in any large organisation. Does the Pope know each and every individual in Catholiscm? It is impossible and no doubt many in other Religions perform perfunctory roles that are mundane. To off-set this PERSONEL BIBLE study is essential. This I feel is what the true crux of the matter is with the Watchtower society. From humble (and I feel honest) beginnings the "Bible Students" which were eventually forced into an organisational arrangement by men believing it to be the correct step to take having Gods blessing unwittingly removed the greatest gift from man - that of independent thinking. I have to agree that although fallible most Jehovah's Witnesses accept everything told them by the WT Society. As a Witness I understand that loyalty to God and Christ to be above the words of fallible men even if the statements made are backed up with scripture. This is because interpretation can be erroneous and none of the writers of watchtower articles are receiving inspired expressions. They are simply using there own understanding based on current scriptural understanding. Hence mistakes are made. Therefore each individual should check his/her own conscience before accepting material written. This I think is where people whom are Jehovah's Witnesses fail. Independent thinking is associated with that of the Devil and no facility is available to discuss openly bible text or differing views. This in my opinion slows down understanding and isolates thinking witnesses whom can end up spiritually defunct, disillusioned and depressed. Indeed millions leave the WT Organisation for this very reason - CONTROL. Brother Schnell calls this brainwashing, but this procedure is not isolated to the WTS, brainwashing exists from birth onwards and each one is brainwashed in varying degrees without knowledge. So I would not interpret studying the bible with Jehovah's Witnesses as Brain washing, rather it is simply a study from which the individual student can choose to either become a witness or not. The problem is the lack of free expression once part of the congregation. Free expression would stimulate the congregations and uplift many down hearted. However I fear that this may never happen. So I admit a problem of freedom of expression exists in the WTS. For a more in-depth understanding of this I would suggest reading the honest, humble and candid account written by Brother Ramond Franz.
So to summarize, Brother Schnell has both valid points and misleading points. I do not feel he can categorically denounce the WT Society as he does and that his basis for doing so is frustration, disillusionment and ultimately hatred.
If you are not a JW then you will perhaps side with brother Schell as he words his argumentation towards those without knowledge of the WT workings. If you are a JW then you could read this and be shocked, but you should not be as no-one and no organisation is perfect. Not until the revealing of the Christ in Power and Glory will any of us truly know who was right and who was wrong. We are all in a game and illusions of grandeur should be avoided. Who knows what influences are exacted on the world. Who knows the rules of engagement between God and the Devil? If you have no belief in God and approach this book from a purely secular level then you will announce the WTS as yet another cult siding with Schnell, as indeed you will if you are of another Religious persuasion. But for me the universal issues lay far outside the realms of human understanding. Hence I would conclude this book to be informative, interesting and containing valid points for reflection, yet sadly a corrosive, hateful underlying negative-ness permeates the writing which does not reflect balance or Christian love.

4-0 out of 5 stars MADE A LOT OF SENSE!
Perhaps to some who were never involved with the "Witnesses" much of what is written in this book will seem a bit far-fetched.But as one who was also in the "organization" for about 30 years I can say that this man's story made a lot of sense.

A number of books have been written about the Watchtower organization. I have not been very well impressed with most that I have read; I do not feel that they are very accurate.Although this book predates most of those others, with a few exceptions, I feel that most things covered in this book really "hit the nail on the head."Schnell goes into the history of the society after "Judge" Rutherford's hostile takeover (which is about the time Schnell became involved) and describes the Society's tactics in Germany during this time and in the U.S. immediately afterwards.The "modus operandus" that Schnell suggests fits everything I experienced and witnessed personally while in there.

My only exceptions would be to some disparaging suggestions directed towards Bible Students, prior to the "Jehovah's Witnesses".These seem a bit self-contradictory and I would not be surprised that they were added after the original publication, although I cannot confirm this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Christian Biography
This was interesting and informative reading.It took one man's story of his life and how he and his family became JW, then how the religion changed during his lifetime, and how he finally got out of the religion.
I learned a lot about this religion from this man's experiences. ... Read more

29. Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements)
by George D. Chryssides
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2008-07-17)
list price: US$88.00 -- used & new: US$70.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810860740
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The theme of prophecy, the doctrine of the 144,000, end-time calculations, Armageddon, and the Witnesses' denial of hell are all considered in the Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, which contains a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and 250 cross-referenced dictionary entries relating to key people and concepts. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars It is a good beginning!
Yes, it is a good beginning because it is the only dictionnary dedicated exclusively to JWs but... it lacks some important names that had been related to the JWs movement and that are not present there. Excellent because it has information about the last presidents of the several JWs organizational bodies. It would be a logical way to publish a new enlarged edition in the next future... One negative thing... its price!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses - A review
Chryssides' Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses is a well written attempt to describe the Jehovah's Witnesses' community. Written down in brevity, it covers their historical development, keeping the distance resulting to a desirable neutral point of view. The lexicographical part of the book is a well-arranged practical tool. It worths a place at the library of the one that is studying Jehovah's Witnesses' phenomenon. ... Read more

30. Jehovah's Witnesses Defended: An Answer to Scholars and Critics, 3rd Edition
by Greg Stafford
Hardcover: 680 Pages (2009)
-- used & new: US$36.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0965981401
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A defense of the teachings and beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses concerning the divine name, the identity of the biblical God Jah, and Jesus of Nazareth. Also included are discussions about various social and other issues, including uses of blood, sexual orientation, abortion, as well as what the Bible teaches concerning mankind's salvation and the freedom and sovereignty of Jah God. This book also contains extended discussions about biblical monotheism, the preexistence of Jesus Christ, and of his identify as God's "Firstborn." Extended discussions of translations issues related to John 1:1, John 8:58, and other important biblical texts are also presented, particularly as these relate to the New World Translation. Finally, the book further introduces the Christian Witnesses of Jah, Jehovah's Witnesses who reject traditions of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society which are not based on the best available evidence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A ready defense againstTrinitarianism
I have read Greg Stafford's 3rd edition book extensively.It is massive and covers every objection made against his belief that Jah is a one God and that his son Jesus is begotten of Jah.Greg deals with all the trinitarian objections in a thorough and fair manner. More than I can say for his objectors. He deals with simply the bible, the Hebrew language and the Greek language as well. For bible students like myself the book can get very technical and can be difficult to absorb when it comes to understanding Greek tenses and structure.But when comparing scripture with other scripture the end result becomes very clear.
Stafford does not deal with the date setting problems of the Watchtower society, especially the "1914 last generation" and 1975 end time prediction as well.Neither does he deal with the Watchtower's invisible presence of Christ reigning since 1914 vs Christ's visible return. For some reason he does not deal with this at all? The main crux of Stafford's book is to prove that Jesus Christ is not the one true Almighty God Christians should worship but one of many "gods" of Jah's creation. In a sense Stafford's theology borders more on polytheism or bi theism. That there is one Almighty God Jah and beside him is a mighty god Jesus who is his Son who deserves devotion but not worship that only Jah gets?
All in all it is an excellent book and should be read by Trinitarians and non trinitarians alike. BTW, Greg Stafford is starting his own Christian movement called the "Christians of Jah".One wonders if the Watchtower society will dis-fellowship Mr Stafford over this decision? After all if one is not a faithful slave to the Watchtower organization one can be dis fellowshipped very easily. This would prove very embarrassing to Mr Stafford especially after defending the Jehovah Witness movement in his book, would it not? ... Read more

31. Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement
by Andrew Holden
Paperback: 224 Pages (2002-02-22)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$31.94
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Asin: 0415266106
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is the first major study of this enigmatic religious society. By examining the Jehovah's Witnesses' dramatic recent expansion, Andrew Holden reveals the dependency of this quasi-totalitarian movement on the very physical and cultural resources which have brought about the privatization of religion, the erosion of community and the separation of "fact" from supernatural faith. Asking vital questions about the ambivalent relationship of spiritual meaning to modern secular materialism, Jehova's Witnesses reconsiders the Witnesses' ascetic faith at once as an inverted form of pseudo-corporate "branding," and as an anti-modern quest for certainty in a hostile world of relativism and risk. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too many errors

Sociologsts may try to be neutral and therefore many people would rely on books about religion written by sociologists. But not infrequently such writers have not done their research properly. This certainly is the case with the book on Jehovah's Witnesses written by Andrew Holden. It has too many errors of fact to be recommended. One glaring example is that the author states that Charles Taze Russell was influenced by seventh day adventists. He never was, but he was initially influenced by other adventists. Also, Holden claims that acadmeic studies of the Witnesses are barren. He fails to give credit to the best academic book on the market about Jehovah's Witnesses, namely APOCALYPSE DELAYED by history professr M. James Penton. Unlike Holden, Penton knows the historical facts about the movement. Another very usefulbook is A PEOPLE FOR HIS NAME by Tony Wills. Both works are still in print.

In spite of its shortcomings, Holden's book shows insight here and there, particularly with regard to life among Jehovah's Witnesses today. But anyone looking for in-depth knowledge about the Witnesses should get the above mentioned books before they buy Holden's book.

Rud Persson

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
I have read a number of books about the Jehovah Witness, yet in many the authors have been involved with the religion personally and have trouble being objective, getting angry or cynical. This is one of the coolest, most objectives book I've read about the JW. Most of all I liked Andrew Holden's approach toward the religion from a broad, theoretical understanding of the organization within the context of society at large -- irregardless of specific theological disputes. Mr. Holden's most repeated mistake in this book as I see it is overlooking the fact that JW indirectly discourage marriage and children, for Mr. Holden argues that the Witnesses want to increase their religion by means of procreating within the religion (two points which, of course, don't fit together). There are indeed mistakes about how Mr. Holden perceives the organization and it's members. However I would say this book is close to 93% accurate in it's description of the Jehovah Witnesses' ideology, which is a secondary issue anyhow. Specific theological details are secondary to an overall, at-large understanding of a religious organization within the context of the world (which is again why I like this book :). This book provides insights into understanding a general form of fundamentalist religious movements, into why they may exist and in fact may be currently growing in the world -- and into why it may not necessarily be such a "bad" thing, actually.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough, except for some essential details
There is a certain truth in Andrew Holden's remark on the dearth of academic literature about the Jehovah's Witnesses, in spite of their high visibility in daily life. Although a quick count yields approximately 90 scholarly publications, empirical social scientific research of this religious movement is surprisingly rare. Until now the most recent comprehensive study, The Trumpet of Prophecy (Oxford: Blackwell) by English sociologist James Beckford, dated back to 1975. Jehovah's Witnesses in the United Kingdom are once again the subject in the book under review.
Andrew Holden's basic framework is an examination of the response to modernization from a variety of theoretical angles. The most promising of these angles is the idea of Anthony Giddens, who argues that individuals in modern societies can deal with their anxiety about secular changes by trusting it to higher authorities. In addition, concepts of purity borrowed from anthropologist Mary Douglas make clear that the Watch Tower Society, the umbrella organization of the Witnesses, is part of the larger religious fun-damentalist countercurrent, on the understanding that its teachings relate to a strictly rational theological system. The qualitative methodological approach is Geertzian, so in essence Holden has studied the Witnesses from the perspective of the detached anthropologist, suspending any judgments about the validity of their beliefs and practices. This conceptual foundation is the starting point for the main research questions: how does the Watch Tower Society deal with the challenges of the modern world and how do the Witnesses manage their religious identity in an age of cultural fluidity (p. 2)? Preceded by a sketch of the movement's history and teachings, the phenomena of recruitment, conversion, and integration into the belief system and community of the Witnesses figure prominently in no less than three chapters. Next, Holden examines how adherents negotiate their contact with nonbelievers, followed by the socialization of second and subsequent generation members. In the final chapter he describes and analyzes causes of disaffiliation from the movement.
For the most part, the ethnographic approach works well, since some data Holden elicited from his in-terviewees could not have been obtained through other methods. They reveal, for example, that many youngsters transgress the movement's puritanical rules, indulging in premarital sexual relationships and excessive alcohol consumption. Though officials of the Watch Tower Society are reluctant to admit that socializing children into the movement causes any major problems, the author concludes that `second-generation rebellion within the organization is more widespread than parents realize' (p. 143). In 1996, for example, the Swedish branch of the organization, in a letter to the national congregations, made clear that youngsters exhibited gross misconduct during the annual summer conventions. As Holden rightly notes, such protest may jeopardize the survival of the movement in the longer term.Consequently, the effect of house-to-house proselytizing carries less weight than justified by the amount of attention the author pays to this characteristic form of recruitment.
This brings us to a shortcoming of the study, for Holden has refrained from critically analyzing the quantitative data that the Watch Tower Society publishes annually. (I will dwell on this topic, since it touches upon the nucleus of the Jehovah's Witnesses' identity.)Although the author relies on a study by Rodney Stark and Laurence Iannaccone (`Why the Jehovah's Witnesses Grow so Rapidly: A Theoretical Application', Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 [1997], 133-157), which predicts a continuing and steady growth of the movement, reanalysis largely contradicts these findings. Primarily, these figures indicate that during the last decade membership in the movement's traditional American and European strongholds (with the exception of the former Soviet controlled regions) is decreasing or at least stagnating. Moreover, expansion in the rest of the world, like Latin America, is considerably less spectacular than in the late 1980s. Secondly, commitment indicators, such as the amount of time the individual Witness spends on proselytizing, show a gradual decline. Further, it can be derived that the amount of `inactive' Witnesses (members who do not engage in proselytizing) must be substantial. For example, in the UK, in the five-year period from 1997 until 2001, more than 15,000 prospective Witnesses were baptized, while the number of proselytizers decreased by 3%. Since, basically, the Watch Tower Society does not sanction inactivity, except for upward mobility within the organization, this can only lead to the conclusion that among Jehovah's Witnesses, nominal membership has set in. From research among the Witnesses in the Netherlands, this reviewer learned that in some congregations 50% of the membership consists of `free-riders'.
While the data indicate that the missionary zeal of the Witnesses is waning, the potential pool of recruitment is also diminishing. The Western phenomenon of mutual wage earners not only affects the Witnesses themselves, causing them to reduce their time spent on proselytizing; it also contributes to many unanswered calls when they canvass their neighborhoods-a major factor in the dwindling evangelistic enthusiasm, according to this reviewer's informants. From observing baptismal ceremonies, it is clear that the initiates are overwhelmingly, if not all, sons and daughters of the existing membership. Therefore, in those regions where the Watch Tower Society is firmly embedded in the religious landscape, the proportion of external recruits in a cohort of new adherents appears to be marginal in comparison with the quantity of members' offspring. It seems safe to conclude that the function of house-to-house proselytizing for the individual believer has evolved from an effective recruitment strategy to a mere ritualized expression of commitment through which the believer demonstrates his or her religious identity. In the terminology of social anthropology, one may, in the near future, designate the practice as a `survival'. It would be premature, though, to conclude that the movement is in a process of decline. In newly opened missionary fields - usually in states who barely tolerate religious freedom - recruitment and commitment tend to peak initially; in that respect, China is a huge reservoir of potential adherents.
These comments notwithstanding, and some minor errors like calling the Witnesses `pacifists', a label they emphatically rejected half a century ago, Holden's strictly qualitative approach provides the reader with fascinating details about the Witnesses' daily struggle, ranging from major issues of dealing with the tribulations of modernity such as `9/11' to apparently futile occasions like unbelieving spouses who want to put up a Christmas tree (an abomination among Jehovah's Witnesses, since they look upon this celebration and similar events such as birthdays as traditions rooted in paganism). The theoretical framework is convincing and fits perfectly well with the data. `The world', though still anathema to a large extent, is a millenarian prerequisite: it must exist to show how evil it is. That does not imply silent withdrawal from or loud protest against the social system. Holden's conclusion that the Witnesses' response to the world `centres on the interplay between their resistance to and alliance with modern secular culture' (p. 173, italics in original) may point to opposing and undecided positions: the movement's continuous worldwide expansion of its infrastructure appears at odds with its urgent apocalypticism, while, at the level of the individual, a believing spouse may wonder if and how to partake in the birthday celebration of her unbelieving husband. At the same time, this dialectic relationship effectively blocks the road to either sectarian obscurity or mainstream denominationalism. By indicating how religion is shaped by secular forces, Hol-den's monograph is also a valuable contribution to the study of Christian Fundamentalism in which this mechanism of calculating ambivalence functions as a viable means to negotiate with the outside world.
Once again, though, it is clear that sociologists and anthropologists of religion should aim at a variety of research instruments, since Holden's ethnographic approach apparently obstructed a quantitatively oriented analysis. The outcome of the latter does not only query the author's remark that `At the moment, the movement is flourishing ...' (p. 149) but also brings the Witnesses' most salient feature of their religious identity up for discussion.

(Originally published in RELIGION, vol 33, 2003, pp. 393-395)

4-0 out of 5 stars good introduction to the movement
As with most of the soft sciences, there is a certain amount of hesitance to present as fact what a researcher believes they have observed.Holden's work is no exception, and there are many parts where the reader was left wondering if the author was going to take a stand or continue to vascillate apologetically as to possible misconceptions.
This is not to say, however, that Holden did misapprehend the Witness sample he worked with.From my experience, he impressed me with the breadth and depth of information that he amassed in a relatively short time, and well-described the overall feel of being inside the movement.
While at times the author relied too heavily on presenting sociological material and quotes as background proof to support his eventual conjectures (especially since his audience is ostensibly peers, sociology students, or lay-people somewhat familiar with sociological principles and readings), he nicely integrated two seemingly contradictory explanations of the movement, as a reaction to modernity and a natural evolution of modernity.This integration, along with seamless transitions between micro and macro foci, makes for absorbing reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars solid sociological study if a bit inaccurate
Having read and written a number of ethnographies and also having been involved in the religion of Jehovah's Witneses both inside and outside of the group (I have served as a regular pioneer and I have also been disfellowshipped), I can say that this study does present many accurate highlights of Jehovah's Witnesses, their paradigm and what motivates them.

The other reviewer obviously didn't read the book carefully, because Holden does interview former members of the faith.He tries to be objective, claiming to use caution when listening to the stories told by the different people he talks to, but he chooses to believe (and makes the statement) that JW's quote scriptures out of context and misapply them.Apparently, the author doesn't realize that Jesus himself quoted scripture out of context, as seen by the Sermon on the Mount.

Curiously, he claims that JW's don't participate in juries and believe that the universe was created in seven days.I know that JW's can participate in juries if they so choose and also that they do not believe the seven creation days were seven literal days, but rather seven creative periods of time.One can't help but wonder how closely he was listening to the subjects of his ethnography.If he got these little details wrong, what else did he get wrong?

Holden attempts to make some original statements or insights about JW's but instead ends up quoting from other sociologists/ethnographers.I just finished reading the book last night and can't think of a single original thought he came up with.

The author recognizes that many JW's try to seperate themselves from the secular world by strictly limiting the kind and amount of worldly entertainment they watch.He comments that parents won't allow their children to read fairy tales or stories involving magic, but fails to explain what scriptures they base this on.It would have been more interesting if he had studied and questioned those JW's who do allow themselves to watch movies and TV shows that have magic as the subject matter.For instance, do they experience any cognitive dissonance (or, in JW terms, "does their conscience bother them?") when watching movies like, Shrek, or TV shows like the X-Files?

What about those witnesses who continue to watch PG-13 movies, all of which contain at least one profanity, something JW's are supposed to avoid?

I can't help but feel the other reviewer deliberately made false statements about the book in the hopes that Jehovah's Witnesses in good standing would read the book (and thereby the statements made by former members of the religion.)

Although Jehovah's Witnesses did have expectations and beliefs that didn't come true (for example, about certain years like 1914 and 1975) so did Jesus Christ's apostles (Luke 19:11, "they imagined the Kingdom was going to display itself instantly" and John 21:23, "In consequence, this saying went out among the brothers, that that disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but: "If it is my will for him to remain until I come, of what concern is that to you?".")Jehovah's Witnesses have never claimed to be infallible, unlike the Pope.

Just because someone is anointed by holy spirit, doesn't mean that they will always get it right.The prophet Samuel, for instance, thought that David's brother would be the next king of Israel, but Jehovah God told him he was not the one.(1 Samuel 16:6, 7: And it came about that, as they came in and he caught sight of E·li'ab, he at once said: "Surely his anointed one is before Jehovah." But Jehovah said to Samuel: "Do not look at his appearance and at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For not the way man sees [is the way God sees], because mere man sees what appears to the eyes; but as for Jehovah, he sees what the heart is.)

If you choose to read this book, do so with a grain of salt and be aware that the author has his own beliefs and values.He is not free from ethnocentricity.I preferred an older sociological study, "The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses" by James Beckford, which is the cumulative result of a group of people working together, unlike "Portrait", which is the work of one individual. ... Read more

32. Jehovah's Witnesses' New Testament: A Critical Analysis
by Robert H. Countess
 Paperback: 136 Pages (1982-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$61.35
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Asin: 0875522106
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars A Critical Analysis of Jehovah's Witnesses' New Testament
Company Watchtower boast of their Bible translation that it is a literal translation. But it is a fact that it is not konkordant where the company will present its dogmas. When they're not out of the way to add words. See Colossians 1: 15-17 NWT.

The Watch Tower Bible translators could not due to language. Hebrais, Aramaic and Greek. Is that why traslationskomite is secret?

Thanks for an interesting and professional presentation!

Carl Andersen ... Read more

33. The Four Major Cults: Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventism
by Anthony A. Hoekema
Hardcover: 447 Pages (1995-08)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 0802831176
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34. The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses
by Gary Botting, Heather Botting
Paperback: 212 Pages (1984-05-01)
list price: US$23.95
Isbn: 0802065457
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Book with a narrow focus, from the viewpoint of a woman still struggling with her own identiy, resolving her own inner conflicts
I was raised a Jehovah's Witness and am now in my 40's. I work in the Orwellian World of the largest public school system in one of the most populous states in the United States. I work for a grade school principal who has "turned in" or had "turned in" hundreds of innocent children, many of them for minor infractions. At least 40 of these innocent children were suspended last year, when "Big Brother" aka. the grade school teacher community, turned in these poor children for such harmless things as pulling a fire alarm, "jumping" other children in the hall., listening to ipods in class, fighting in class. One girl, only 12 years old was suspended for cursing at the vice-principal. I worked for the best principal in the whole city for a time, the school had some of the most difficult children and teens one could imagine, and the principal had instituted a host of wonderful programs for the children. I've never been in another school like it again. He had a discipline policy whereby unruly children would receive lunch detention. They could not play during lunch but would have to sit quietly in one section of the cafeteria while the other kids played. Needless to say, energetic and rambuncuous teens and children found this difficult, and one parent went to the point ofpassing out flyers condemning the principal for his shameful authoritarian stance against these innocent teens, with a list of demands against this principal.

This is the position of Heather Botting. Heather Botting is like a rebellious teen, who has finally broken free of her parent's authority to stake out her own way. She rebels against any type of discipline or order in the religious society of which she used to be a part, and stakes a claim for fierce independence.
As a teacher and middle school Big Brother, I've "turned in" scores of children for various reason, literally, looking over their shoulder. The society of Jehovah's Witnesses is nothing like that. If it was, I'd take a quick exit. It is a loving brotherhood, where elders (which I am not) are primarily encouraged to be, and are shepherds and teachers. The Watchtower does not encourage a disciplinarian attitude, but rather it encourages mercy, love, shepherding and compassion, as does the Bible. The attitude of Jehovah's Witnesses today is different from that in the 1970s, and even though love and mercy, shepherding and compassion were encouraged in those years, it has been the increased focus in the past 35 years. Many of us, including myself, who have been "beat up" by this world, because of our own mistakes, getting involved with drugs, or other things that are going to harm us, have experienced emotionally, psychological and spiritual healing through our association with Jehovah's Witnesses. This is true of many who have had the unfortunate experience of being victims of child abuse. The many articles in the Watchtower and Awake articles that are written to help victims of childabuse, and of other psychological and emotional traumas, such as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, all sorts of specific physical problems, and recovering emotionally from the death of a loved one, provide strong support and practical and compassionate help regularly for millions. Much of this is based on practical counsel, much of it is Bible based.

So, it is a shame that Heather Botting focuses on one aspect of what she considers to be negative, in her own rebellion against authority. The arrangement among Jehovah's Witnesses is completely the opposite of that of the disturbing Orwell book, it is a haven of love and compassion, where mercy dominates. Psalms 103:7-14. "Jehovah is merciful and gracious...Like a father shows mercy to his sons, Jehovah has shown mercy to those fearing him....As far off as the sunrise is from the sunset, so far off has He put our transgressions from us." The complete verse of this scripture was shared with me from a member of the Governing Body when I was in a time of great stress. It has been a comfort since that time 20 years ago.

What is more, there is not a connection between Jehovah's Witnesses and 1984. When I first saw this book, I couldn't understand how a college professor could come up with such a ludicrous comparison. Now seeing that Heather Botting was raised a Jehovah's Witness and left, it makes sense. Only a former Jehovah's Witness who got some education afterward could write a book like this. It is the book of a rebellious teen, who has never resolved her parent-relationships, struggling to find her own identity. The rejection of the teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses of an "end" of this system, Armageddon, and the destruction of the wicked, is a rejection of Jesus himself and the Bible. The teaching of Jesus of the end times is conveyed in three complete chapters of the Bible, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, and the book of Revelation, which is said to have been conveyed by Jesus from God, to an angel, Revelation 1:1-3, highlights God's "anger" against rebellious mankind, at certain points in the book, and the war of God the Almighty, Armageddon.

So while the Bible does delve into this subject, it is not the theme of the Bible, and was not the theme of Jesus teaching, who focused on the "good news of God's Kingdom." Matthew 24:14. The focus of Jehovah's Witnesses is similar. They see the end as a new beginning, as the time when God will clear a way the wicked, and bring paradise to the earth. They focus in their ministry and in their teachings, on the promise of the "new earth," when"sickness, death and pain will be no more." It is a decidedly positive message, that instills hope, and helps one to be forward looking in the face of adversity. "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore, the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:1-4.

There is nothing Orwellian about Jehovah's Witnesses. JW have been described as Millenialists, and their hope viewed as Utopian. If you chose another angle, you could just as easily write a book of "The Utopian World of Jehovah's Witnesses," or "The Utopian World View of Jehovah's Witnesses," and focus on the positive aspects of that, or the psychological "crutch" such a Utopian view encourages or supports, whether you choose a positive approach to that or otherwise.

So I feel that Heather Botting is a person still struggling with her own identity, rebelling against authority, rebelling against her parents, and through this book attempting to justify her own loss of faith and any connection with religion, to run away from God, and find reasons to do so. Her book is as much a reflection of her own psychological unresolved conflicts as it is about anything to do with the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. She chooses a microcosm ofthe whole picture, and turns it decidely negative, when if fact the same could be done towards the early Christians as well. Many social commentators such as Andrew Holden, and Beckford, Frank S. Mead, who were not Jehovah's Witnesses, give a much more balanced and realistic view of the religion. Also, this book is about Jehovah's Witnesses in the pre-1980's when Jehovah's Witnesses were going somewhat through a period of turmoil, a shedding of skin, to a certain extent, emerging from a narrower focus, to a broader worldview.

The 1980-2010 Jehovah's Witness religion is one that has grown in a much broader view, less centrally focused, more mature and merciful, more focused on healing (emotional and psychological, spiritual) rather than condemnatory. Jehovah's Witnesses have matured in these years, kept pace with the times, caught up in its care for young people and their needs. So Heather Botting is writing from a different generation and time period, and is a book, that if it has any validity at all, was from a different generation and different way of thinking than Jehovah's Witnesses today. The religion of Jehovah's Witnesses(2010) is decidedly positive, and merciful, actually opposite the Orwellian point of view. I understand the psychology of Heather Botting, as I was a rebellious teen myself, in a strict Christian religion. So, I identify with her vantage point. At the same time, one has to realize that the book is written from the vantage point of that rebellious teen, who has never gotten past that conflict with authority and structure that characterizes organized religion of any type and the concept of God itself. Most of us go on to find our own identities outside of the relgion of Jehovah's Witnesses, and are able to still fit it the religious aspects of our life with our secular identities, without so great a struggle, getting past that "teen rebellion syndrome," integrating our belief system with balance and reasonableness.

With any institution, whether it be a public school, being a teacher in a public school, working for any type of corporation with a corporate structure, whether it be a bank or a nurse, ora some other "heirarcahal" arrangement where one has a boss over them, a certain amount of personal liberty is lost. The free-thining world of a college professor is somewhat different. Is it worth a certain amount of loss in the sense of absolute freedom to be part of a religion? For many in the U.S. it is. The benefits outweigh the personal discomfort, and a greater good is accomplished by the whole rather than through strict indvididualism.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READ
This was the first "apostate" book I ever read and I was pioneering at the time.I was stunned when I read it and quickly realized why the Organization was so afraid of and of the Rank and File reading any literature written by ex-Witnesses.

The comparison of the Witness World and George Orwell's 1984 is eerily similiar.The "double think" process, the encouragment of turning in family and close friends who go agains what Big Brother is saying, is all too familiar to anyone raised in this religion.

As this book was written 20 years ago, it's interesting to see that, like Crisis of Conscience, they've made a pretty accurate prediction of which road the Governing Body had to take in order to cover up their false prophecies and keep the rank and file in line.

I'm saddened that this book is not part of the Search This Book program. The authors ought to sign it up and get it in so that readers can browze this book online. If they did so it would renew interest in this marvelously insightful and illuminating volume. Also, the book should be updated because the authors accurately predicted exactly what would occur in the Orwellian World of JW's from 1984 onward.

The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses describes to an uncanny "T" my exact experiences with the Watchtower Slaves in my teens.

I was saddenned to see only two reviews of this book. I suspect this book did not do nearly was well as it should have. My educated guess is that most Americans are unfamiliar with the term "Orwellian" because they have never heard of or read George Orwell's chillingly prophetic novel "1984." "Orwellian" means a group of people who are tightly controlled from the top down by a powerful group that has life-or-death authority. Every aspect of life is controlled by this group, and spies are everywhere observing and reporting, and lethal action is taken upon dissidents.

That describes the organization and life of Jehovah's Witnesses to a "T" and that is no exaggeration. If the reader is unfamilar with Orwell's book, I recommend you check out "1984" from your public library. Doing so will enable you to better understand and appreciate this book. The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses gets five stars and two thumbs up.



5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Could Be Invaluable If It Works For You
Nothing is perfect and I'm not sure I'm in agreement with all the analogies drawn by the authors between 1984 and Jehovah's Witnesses, but that's certainly not a reason to give this book less than five stars.This could be a really important book for someone.At the very least it could be a helpful weapon against the, literally, mind numbing, insanity of Jehovah's Witnesses.Let me give just one quote from the book to illustrate what I mean.

"I had lived my life until the age of 25 or 26 believing that I was never going to die, or that if I did die in a car crash or something, God would resurrect me and I'd live forever in the New World.I can remember the exact moment when I realized I wan not going to live forever.The physical moment:I was working in my office at Bethel and I got up from my desk to go into the file cabinet; I was bending down to get a file, and - it came out of nowhere - I said, Hey, you're going to die one day.And in that one second the knot unraveled."

I suppose I'm aiming my thoughts at the probably hundreds of thousands of those like me who were confiscated and brain washed into the religion by being born into it, or conscripted at a very young and tender age.I was 35 years old before I could really breathe a little fresh air, and even now, nearing 60, it makes me shutter every once in awhile.I'm grateful to the authors for having the will, the courage, and the fortitude to write the book and then see it through the publishing process.I'm sure they realized that such a book could probably never be a best seller, or even a big seller, because though to injured parties like me the Watchtower Society looms large, it's a tiny blip to the billions who inhabit this planet at the beginning of the 21st century.

So, even though its not perfect, and is probably a little too intellectual for most folks, for anyone who is struggling to break free from the chains of JWs, it is a voice crying in the wilderness and a small lamp shining in a very dark place.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Study
This is a good book and the illustrations in it are excellent. The book captures the totalitarian nature of the Watchtower movement as few books do because it is based on sound academic research and a background understanding of the movement. Both authors were raised Jehovah's Witnesses and are trained scholars. In fact, the book is based on a doctoral dissertaion by Heather Botting. My only complaint about it is that it places too much emphasis on the year 1984, which was not an important "end times" date for Jehovah's Witnesses. ... Read more

35. Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi Regime: 1933-1945
Hardcover: 408 Pages (2003-02-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$15.00
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Asin: 3861087502
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"We must be grateful for this book, deeply grateful. In essay after essay we read of the fate of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi concentration camps. Some of the essays tell large stories. The other essays tell small stories of a few individuals - stories that illuminate the whole. Part of this work addresses the situation of the Witnesses in Germany... Jews were victimized not because of what they did, nor because of what they were. They were targeted for destruction because of what their grandparents were…

Alone of all the groups targeted by the Nazis, the Jehovah's Witnesses were victimized because of what they refused to do. They would not enlist in the army, undertake air raid drills, stop meeting or proselytizing. They would not utter the words ‘Heil Hitler.’ Their dissent was irksome, disciplined and systematic... Jews had no choice. Jehovah's Witnesses did. As such, they are martyrs in the traditional sense of the term - those prepared to suffer and even to die for the choice of their faith."

—From the Preface by Michael Berenbaum, Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar of the Holocaust, Richard Stockton College ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Jehovah's Witnesses or Bible students
It is important that people realize the many groups that suffered during that time. In this fact, this book does a service. This is why the following information (which is not clearly understood by many) is so important:

The Jehovah's Witnesses in the U.S. changed their name in 1931. However, in Germany those Bible students affiliated with the Watchtower Society officially changed their in the 1950s. In the early 1920s there were around six thousand in Germany (and perhaps Switzerland) cooperating outside the IBSA (WT), which was typical in a few other populous countries in Europe, such as England. By the time Hitler grabbed power, the number was probably significantly larger. Two ecclesias in what was later East Germany had each reached 400 (one was Leipzig).

There were no distinctions between the TWO GROUPS of Bible Students. Thus the two groups were known as simply "Bible Students." During the Hitler Era, Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses were both lumped together as "Bibelforscher" in Bergen-Belsen and other concentration camps. At Auschwitz they were identified by wearing a violet patch. I don't know after World War II how many were in East Germany, but there had at one time been 400 in Leipzig. (For a few years they were able to publish 'Weinberg.')

The Bible Students were persecuted because of their pro-Israel stand, the Jehovah's Witnesses for their anti-Hitler stand. Both groups wore the Purple Triangle. In fact at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, some of the "Jehovah's Witnesses" pictured are actually Bible Students, NOT affiliated with the Watchtower.

Today there remain a number of Bible Students who are descendants of those WWII Bible students, who are not affiliated with the Watchtower in any way. In other words, not all Bible students became "Jehovah's Witnesses". And a number of those individuals suffered or died in the concentration camps too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Wonderful documentation of the Holocaust Victims and ones they left behind.The personal letters and pictures were very eye opening and I thank you for such a book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well documented.!!!
While I have only been able to scan this book so far due to a temporary visual problem, I'm impressed by the documentation used in each essay to show the sources. Considerable research went into the development of this book, and the authors and editor are to be commended for their work.
I'm proud to be called one of Jehovah's Witnesses and admire the integrity shown by my brothers and sisters who endured these trials.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellentcollection of essays
This publication is an exceptional group of papers that shed much needed light on this oft overlooked group of vicims. The work is scholarly with primary sources reproduced. The range of contributors is impressive and the depth of knowledge striking. Highly recommended publication for those undertaking reading on non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!!!
Great Book, sent in perfect condition and in a timely fashion. Exactly as described ... Read more

36. The Gap in the Jehovah's Witness Religion And How to Recover
by Tracy Ringsdorf
Paperback: 62 Pages (2005-11-04)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1412069033
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Tracy Ringsdorf compassionately uses her experiences as a former Jehovah's Witness to provide hope and insight for others struggling with the religion.The book provides case studies of 24 other individuals who courageously shared their painful experiences in leaving the religion. The book is based on love and helping others in their transition from abandonment into a world of acceptance and forgiveness. Tracy offers thought-provoking questions and resources to the reader for their journey.Shared common experiences help those who feel alone in their divided feelings toward the religion. The fundamental doctrines of the Jehovah's Witness religion, the reasons why individuals join and stay in the religion, the painful experiences of leaving the religion and recovering from that pain are covered. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Simplistic
I was expecting a good read when I ordered this.I was first let down by the price verses the length of the book.I think you can spend twelve bucks on other books with a great deal more info.
I was also let down by the content.The only thing I found interesting about this book is seeing what happened to the JW's after.I think it might have been more interesting to read all the quotes from them one at a time.I found that I had to go back and forth to really get who was who and what they were saying.I somewhat regret the purchase, but am glad to know that all of Tracy's friends and family found that it was beneficial.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the quoted
I really appreciated Tracy's handling of this topic.I was of the ones interviewed in her book.I found it fascinating to see how my story had so much in common with the others and how I had dealt with things differently. It was also interesting to see how I felt when I answered her questions compared to how I feel now.I feel this book is very useful for those who know someone who used to be a JW as well as for those trying to leave.It's small size makes it easy to pick up and read.Tracy offers clear ideas for those to recover and her faith, although not one I shared, was refreshing and dignified.In addition, she was not dogmatic or strident like so much of the other ex-JW information out there. Well done and I'm honored to have been a part of it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative, interesting book
I enjoyed this book very much.I think that people who are trying to leave the Watchtower religion will find it very helpful and I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding the JW world
As a friend and non-JW, I've listened to Tracy's story for years, in utter disbelief.It was good to see her story intermingled with 24 other stories of those with similar experiences.Must be refreshing to realize you are not alone.Glad to see there are resources available, starting with Tracy's book, if you find yourself "lost" along the JW way.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating and enlightening reading
I am not a JW, nor have I ever been, but I found this book to be riveting reading. As Tracy's sister-in-law, I found it to really help capture the essence of her struggles and allow me to better understand her. As a past clinical social worker, I believe this book to have the potential for healing work done individually and within the therapeutic environment. I also believe this book can be very helpful for those trying to help ex-JW's, either personally or professionally. ... Read more

37. 1996 Yearbook of the Jehovah's Witnesses
by No Author Listed
 Hardcover: Pages (1996-01-01)

Asin: B002UQQKU6
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38. Refuting Jehovah's Witnesses
by Randall Watters
 Unknown Binding: 175 Pages (1987)

Asin: B00072DPEY
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39. Jehovah's Witness Finds the Truth
by Jean Eason
 Paperback: 137 Pages (1999-09)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$46.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0914605003
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Excellent, accurate, and forthright!"
Having known this author personally, and having had many conversations with her on this subject, I can recommend this book without reservation. For the serious JW seeking truth from the Bible, this work will providepertinent answers which stand up to scriptural authority. Ms. Easonpresents candid factual support, and rock-solid theology forms thefoundation of one of the finest works on this subject. ... Read more

40. Dictionary of J.W.ese - the unique language of Jehovah's Witnesses
by David A. Reed
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-01-03)
list price: US$9.95
Asin: B003BEE9T0
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Jehovah's Witnesses have a unique vocabulary incomprehensible to outsiders. They also use familiar Christian terms to mean something different from standard usage. This book is a dictionary of such "J.W.ese" language. Moreover, it explains how JWs engage in doubletalk when speaking with outsiders, and tells the reader how to break through that doubletalk to share the Gospel of Christ with those trapped inside the cult. Reed is the author of "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses Subject by Subject" and the popular book "Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse." This "Dictionary of J.W.ese" was originally published in 1997 under the title "Jehovah-Talk" by Baker Book House. This volume is the 2010 Lulu edition. ... Read more

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